Patterned Shirts for the Dudes!

Lately I’m really into shirts with exciting patterns on them. I mean, I like patterns on other things outside of my body, but I’ve always been more of a solid/stripe/plaid kind of guy, shirt-wise.

No more. Gimme a good pattern and I will wear it and feel happy about wearing it.

Here’s the thing with patterned shirts on the gentlemen: you don’t want to be described as, “you know, that guy who always wears the crazy shirts.” At least I don’t. I don’t want to be a “loud” dresser, because people who dress “loudly” tend to be super annoying and I don’t want to be super annoying, or give people good reason to think I will be based on how I’m dressing.

So you have to find the good patterns so you don’t look like an irritating clown. How do you do that? I think like this. First, you limit the colors. A crazy pattern with only a couple of colors will look less nuts than a more simple pattern with a bunch of colors. Second, I like to steer toward abstracts and away from things that are literal/legible, like little floating anchors or even florals. I own a few good florals but they’re tough to get right and can go silly/kitschy/cutesy real fast. Third, I like to pair a good pattern with normal stuff like a simple pair of classic jeans—you don’t want multiple elements of your outfit calling out for attention because then you will look crazy.

Look at me, writing with fake authority on fashion. HA. So, boys. Point is, according to me, you can totally rock a shirt that’s a little weird without looking nuts. I do it all the time and nobody has ever explicitly told me I look nuts so I assume we’re all good. Here’s a little round-up of some shirts I’m into right now to carry me through the rest of summer and into fall:


1. Navy Print Short Sleeve Smart Shirt, Topman, $30

2. Slim-Fit Cloud Print Shirt, Club Monaco, $89.50

3. Blue Aztec Print Short Sleeve Casual Shirt, Topman, $50

4. Navy Paint Print Short Sleeve Smart Shirt, Topman, $50



1. Selected Homme Blue Geo Long Sleeve Shirt, Topman, $85

2. Selected Homme Black Slim Fit Shirt, Topman, $20

3. Classic Fit Ditsy Dot Shirt, Club Monaco, $27.30 with code THESALEONSALE

4. Short-Sleeved Cotton Shirt, H&M, $14.99



1. Slim-Fit Indigo Cross Shirt, Club Monaco, $48.30 with code THESALEONSALE

2. Weekday Shirt Happy Times Grandad Collar Sumi Print, ASOS, $73

3. ASOS Shirt in Short Sleeve with Paint Print, ASOS, $40

4. Navy Confetti Drapey Short Sleeve Smart Shirt, Topman, $50



  1. Look at you rocking the fashion post! How about some florals – a little Liberty of London?

  2. Have you seen Kiriko? Shirts, ties and other accessories made from dead-stock vintage kimono textiles. Their products are ah-mazing!!!

  3. J’aime!

  4. I wish that last Topman shirt came in dress form!!

  5. Do You know Stromay? He had a clotingline that seems really You (is Stromae even a thing outside Europe?)

  6. All that blue. *sigh* I’d drape several of these all over my guy if he’d wear them. Also: that cloud print would look fabulous on my deck. Can someone please make it in an outdoor fabric?

    • They are very nice shirts & really inexpensive. Sadly, the bf is too conservative & my son has FORBIDDEN me from buying him clothing so I’ll just have to admire from afar.

  7. Next post: you IN the shirts! (Seriously considering the xl + belt option though…)

  8. Ditsy Dot’s my fave.

  9. I do enjoy a patterned shirt on a gentleman….I’m thinking though full sleeve tatoos may just be too much clash with all that pattern..but that’s just me….
    agree completely with keeping the colours to a minimum…let the pattern do the talking….

    happy 4th of July to all the Yanks.

  10. I think these prints are completely non-gender specific. I like them all. I make and sell children’s clothing and I see many of the young mothers favoring these type of prints for both sexes. It seems like progress for women–but I really love pink!

  11. Nice shirts and good advice. I think that #3 in the last block of photos is an example of tats competing with shirt fabric. I think that complicated tats look best with a solid or very subdued pattern.

  12. Nice, but that is a lot of black and navy going on. Try some earthy greens and earthy reds, too!

  13. i think photos #1 and #4 may actually be Daniel. Just guessing, but the roll up sleeve is definitely him.

  14. Thanks for these awesome shirt suggestions!

    (Judging from the comments and from my general impression over time, you seem have very few male-readers… but I am definitely excited by this new foray that strikes yet another chord with me! Keep these coming!)



  15. I keep waiting to see if clothing with Google Deep Dream-inspired prints are going to be a thing. I’m surprised it has not happened yet.

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